Ticks - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment did you use or receive to treat a tick bite or tick-caused infection?

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What is the treatment for a tick bite?

For all tick bites, local cleansing and antibiotic cream may be applied. If the bite area develops itching, preparations containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are recommended. These Benadryl compounds can be applied directly to the skin for itching or administered orally by tablets. This is usually the only treatment needed.

However, treatment of the pathogens that the tick may pass to a person depends on other factors, such as the type of tick, length of time of attachment to the host, diseases in the community, and symptoms developed by the patient. Specific treatment is based on the identity of the pathogen transmitted. For example, oral antibiotics may be prescribed for some diseases. With more significant symptoms, antibiotics may need to be given intravenously and the patient may need to be hospitalized. The best approach to treatment is to diagnose which pathogen has been transmitted to the patient (for example, Borrelia species of bacteria) and then use the specific treatment to reduce or kill the pathogen.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Melissa, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 28

We deal with chiggers and ticks every year. Oil is a killer. Baby oil, Avon's Skin So Soft any kind of oil for your skin will smother them. We learned this when we had a pet store and our snakes got mites.

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Comment from: len, 75 or over Male Published: August 05

I found a tick on my right lower side. My wife checked it. It was already half in my skin and swollen. She sprayed Off with Deet on it to get the tick to back out, and she tried pulling and wiggling it, but it was in so tight. I used an ice cube for two to three minutes to get the swelling down. Then I applied more Off with Deet and used some tweezers and wiggled it out. I put it in a jar. Then I washed off the area, used antibiotic ointment, and put on a bandage. It has been three days. It has decreased in size, and there is a little drainage.

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